Best laid plans

D’oh! With a capital “Aw, for fuck’s sake”.

As mentioned in previous posts I’ve been planning progressively harder and more ill-advised physical challenges for myself throughout the year. There were a couple right on my doorstep which looked like utter killers but still a good way to ease myself into it seeing as it’d be a short crawl/taxi ride back to the flat once I’d run myself into the ground. The first was the Seven Hills Of Edinburgh Race, a gruelling 13-mile circuit of Edinburgh’s seven hills (duh – the Castle, Corstorphine Hill, Craiglockhart Hill, Braid Hill, Blackford Hill, Arthur’s Seat) where you’re left to choose your own route with the one proviso that you must pass through the seven checkpoints atop each of the said hills. That clocks in at half marathon length but considerably more vertical, not an easy challenge but one I was masochistically looking forward to.

Except it’s on the 21st of June, when I’ll be at Nova Rock in Austria, full of beer, red meat and the awesome power of metal, and certainly in no fit state for any exercise except that which naturally occurs in the moshpit. Come to think of it they should make pits an Olympic event, they can take some endurance.  So, scratch the first event off the list – random musical excursions in Europe with good friends beats self-inflicted agony any day. The race will be there next year.

The other local event which intrigued me was the Rat Race, a two-day (or one if you’re a wuss) adventure through the streets, hills, parks and waterways of Edinburgh, taking in abseiling, kayaking, biking and climbing as well as running and orienteering. How could I possibly resist that? An excuse to spend a weekend clambering all over my beloved city and showing off my new-found fitness (and apparent new-found non-fear of heights) all in the name of charity or just good old-fashioned fun. Get a wee team of relatively healthy mates together, perfectly memorable event.

Edinburgh Rat Race - any race is cooler when you dress in black..

Edinburgh Rat Race - any race is cooler when you dress in black..

Except it’s on the 18th/19th of July, at which point I’ll be on a plane back from Thailand after my three weeks of training and chilling. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t swap the Thai excursion for anything as it’s pretty much all I can think about right now. Just a shame that Marty hadn’t decided to go a few days earlier so I’d be back and in decent shape in time for the run :p

I’ve also missed the insane-sounding Mighty Deerstalker although that’s due to my over-cautious nature; it takes place the weekend before the half marathon and the potential for twisted ankles and the like is pretty huge so I’d rather not risk it. M’colleague Jono is bravely entering though so will keep an eye on next year’s event if he makes it back in one piece (or less than five pieces).

Thankfully this island is full of like-minded idiots who seem to crave any excuse for bodily punishment, especially when it involves clambering up hills, through bogs, over piles of felled trees, etc. I’ll keep scouring the net for events like the Hell Runner, a Deerstalker-esque event near Liverpool where I thankfully have a couple of mates I can crash with.

Oh yes, I will do stupid events. I will risk life and limb for a few more endorphins. And I will enjoy it. Life’s too short not too 🙂


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